Dreaming big is the first step… feeling all the fear attached to the possibilities is the next while seeing how these inner compulsions can help change the world around us is the ultimate goal. Small forward moving steps in the direction of your heart pulls.. those goose bump moments is how we manifest these possibilities for ourselves… our dreams. Laurie Winthers, contemporary painter, ukulele player and haiku writer, knows best how to heed to these inner callings. With the belief that something will keep calling in different ways until you answer, she trusts that it is never too late to give something new a try! By sticking to what she loves most, she has remained true to her own vision — both for her life and her artistic work.
For Laurie, painting is the intuitive act that brings her home to her voice. Inspired by the sea and her family, drawn to California’s landscapes and feeling gratitude for each new day are all a part of her process. Represented by The Nancy Dodds Gallery in Carmel, California and at Serena and Lily, her visual and emotional work features bold color palettes and a playful use of space that so beautifully captures the light. These vibrant land and seascapes instill a deep sense of calm and joy that is both meditative and representative of Laurie as a creative.
The New Southern is a movement rooted in kindness and love, expanding as a guide to help connect you to your own truth. Laurie embodies this in every way...with her own take on the New Southern being all about embracing life. We are so fortunate to have this artist in our community and I am so excited for you all to get to know her a bit better! Xx
Alyssa Rosenheck: Tell us about yourself.
Laurie Winthers: I am a contemporary painter, living and working by the sea, on the Monterey Bay, in California. I was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area with great parents, grandparents, goofy brothers and tons of aunts, uncles and cousins nearby. I’ve had a fulfilling career in Child Development, stayed at home to help raise two beautiful children and am now experiencing the joy, along with my sweet husband, of having three tiny grandchildren. I started my art career when I turned 40 and it is the one thing that I have done on my own terms, that is all me. I paint what I love, which are the surrounding fields and ocean — always remaining true to my vision. I paint from memory and love the freedom that it gives me to create what I want. I hope this instils a feeling of peace and joy in anyone who views my work. I feel that throughout life’s requisite ups and downs, I am a very fortunate woman...surrounded by loving and supportive family, friends and work that I love.
AR: What does The New Southern mean to you?
LW: To me, first and foremost, The New Southern means embracing life — adopting a kindness towards others and supporting all different kinds of people. It means creating a home that is casual and family friendly, and creating an open and happy environment, both visually and emotionally. You are championing a movement of love and kindness!
AR: What innovative trends are you seeing with The New Southern movement across the country?
LW: I am seeing people use personal and meaningful collections in their homes. Whether it’s contemporary, fresh, bright art, unique family photos, found objects from nature, beloved books, handmade items from friends or things collected from travels...Each home is unique, interesting, and speaks volumes about its owner.
AR: What is your most important tool as an artist and is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
LW: Honestly, the best thing I have in my studio is a safe space with the freedom to create whatever I want! My studio overlooks a lagoon filled with ducks, egrets and Blue Heron. Water is the thing that I can’t live without. Lots of water. My brushes need to be super clean to paint the way that I want to. I can’t paint outdoors because I can never carry enough water!!!!
AR: What are some lessons or pivots you have learned from? What advice do you have for others getting started in the creative field?
LW: Even though I enjoyed working with children and parents in my Child Development career, I found that if something else keeps calling you, heed the call! I think it keeps calling in different ways until you answer. It’s never too late to try something new! That is my pivot advice. My best advice for new creatives, which was given to me early on in my art career by Darling Neath, is to stay true to your own vision. Don’t let others sway the way you work, or what you work on. That is especially hard when working with your first gallery, as we all aim to please. And, as always, be positive and work hard at what you love.
AR: What is your morning routine?
LW: I wake up every morning and sit on the side of my bed for a morning meditation, thanking my body for doing its best, feeling gratitude for rest and for a new day, and feeling thankful for my loving, supportive family and friends. This is followed by 15 minutes of Qigong. Then I hug my husband, and make our morning tea. My healthy breakfast hack is to add kale, protein powder and blueberries to my daily “Daily Harvest” smoothie. I drink this almost every morning and feel like I am starting the day on a healthy and positive note.
AR: How are you living your best life right now?
LW: I feel that at this stage in my life, I am trying to enjoy EVERYTHING as much as I can. I love being in my studio, creating, and try to get there as often as possible, all while balancing taking care of myself, spending time with and caring for family and friends, and trying to have fun! I try daily to be a caring, loving and kind human being.
AR: The place you go to get inspired?
LW: Currently, the place that most inspires me is being on my deck overlooking the ocean with my 3 year old granddaughter, Lucy. She reminds me to be free with my art, not judge what I’m making and do what makes me happy...and also to laugh and be joyful while doing it!
AR: My momma always said…
LW: My momma (and poppa) always said, “Look for the best in people and situations. You can almost always find something good. And, if you can’t, then those people or situations weren’t meant for you.” I’ve found this to be true…most people are good and kind, given half a chance. And from my mom, aged 93, who has the most beautiful smile ever, “Keep going and keep smiling!”
AR: What’s your favorite housewarming gift?
LW: My favorite housewarming gift is handmade soap from a woman in La Selva Beach, California. She makes beautiful, seasonal, pastel-colored soaps from vintage molds and wraps them in a clear sleeve — tied with vintage ribbon. I find them at Patine, a small shop in Santa Cruz.
AR: Tell us something we probably don’t know.
LW: Something that most people don’t know about me is that I am learning to play a beautiful, blue Ukulele, given to me on my last birthday by my husband. Also, instead of journaling, I write Haiku poems to reflect what is going on in my life at any given moment. This one expresses how I feel when working on my Ocean Memories paintings:
“Water becomes paint
Ocean gently rolling in
Paint becomes water”